Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moving Beyond House Church to Simple Church


For the past few years I've been a big proponent of house church life. I still believe that gathering in homes is a wonderful way to get together. Despite this, I recently realized that I've moved past this being a significant issue for me. I don't really care so much where people meet. I'm much more concerned about why they meet.

According to scripture, Christ's church gathers for the purpose of mutual edification. This can occur just about anywhere. Homes are great places for it. However, so are coffee shops, parks, restaurants, store fronts, lakes, cars, etc. In fact, almost any place that is conducive to conversation is also conducive to edification.

To edify is to build up. To do this mutually requires two-way communication. Thus, free-flowing conversation is a key. While houses allow for this, so do many other locations. Any place where multiple Christians can meet simply is a good place to gather.

One type of location that is not generally effective in bringing about mutual edification is big buildings. These, combined with ceremonies, actually stifle the building up of the body.

In order for the body to grow in Christ, we all must take part in helping one another mature. Since we are all priests to God, we all have the great privilege and responsibility of helping our brothers and sisters move closer to both Christ and Christlikeness. This happens when we all take responsibility for each other. While Christianity is individual in salvation, it is very much communal when it comes to spiritual growth. We grow best together.

This growth happens most effectively in simple gatherings almost any place and any time. My encouragement to you is to be creative when it comes to where you gather with other believers. You have much freedom in this. Meet in homes, but get together in various other locales as well.

The purpose, not the place, is what is important.

2 comments:

Felicity Dale said...

I totally agree. We like to define church as "Jesus in the midst." It doesn't matter the size--although small is much easier and simple makes a huge difference--but when Jesus is in the midst of his people, even if it's only two or three, then that is church

Eric said...

Felicity,

Thank you so much for commenting. I agree completely about Jesus being the key. He must be the center of our gatherings, no matter the number. Ironically, the focus on "house church" can actually be a distraction when Christ ought to be the center.